View Full Version : Impreza 93 not starting. Weird symptoms.

12-21-2009, 03:38 PM
Hi people.

I have a strange problem with my Impreza 1.8i AWD. I tried to repair it with several solution and none have worked.

I moved house in october and I was towing a 3/4 ton trailer every day for two weeks. Then the day after the final trip I went out to start the car and it would not go. It went from the starter's undulating whine to the flat sound of a dead heartbeat monitor. After a few second opinions, I came to the conclusion that the timing was out. One mechanic told me that the pistons would be damaged without doubt, but I believe the ej20-like engines are freewheeling rather than interference, so It couldn't be that. The next thing to do was to get hold of a timing replacement kit and change everything. So I looked up some instructions in a manual I found, and did so. After removing the radiator and belts, I checked the timing marks on everything and found the cams out of time from the crank and topdeadcentre, so assuming the freewheeling theory was correct I moved the cams into time. I reassembled everything and tried starting the car, and the sound had changed. It now sounds like it wants to start and I can hear it firing, but it's just not starting. I tried bump-starting it being towed, but that achieved nothing. I now have no clues left. I know there is fuel getting to the spark plugs, because I took a plug out and it was flooded. I also know that there is a spark, because I tested that too. The timing could possibly be 360 degrees out, but that's a lot of hassle if I'm wrong. The battery is fully charged, and I can't think of anything else.

What to you think?

Thank you in anticipation,


01-01-2010, 05:59 PM
I now think it could be something to do with the ECM. It began backfiring after I took it apart several times and re-timed and rebuilt it. Earlier, it backfired and popped the air-filter lid off with a right bang. This leads me to believe that some progress is being made, again because it's trying to start but won't, where before it wasn't trying.

I looked all over the internet for a solution and what I came up with is that there could be a problem with a cam sensor and therefore the ECM is not sending the sparkplugs, or injectors, the signal because the cam sensor is either faulty or something is wrong.

I also considered the possibility that the ECM may need resetting, because I fixed the original problem. However, I don't even know where to start with that.

Oh yes, and I ruled out the injectors as a problem because I put some injector cleaner in and it backfired even louder.

Thanks again,


02-22-2010, 05:13 PM
My car is now running. The problem was fixed by a mechanic, and I don't know exactly what the problem was. I was told it was something to do with the timing. Well, whatever it was fixed the overfueling, backfiring, and everything. As I drove it after the repairs, there was a tapping noise in the engine, like one of the pistons was bent, but after 300 miles it is running much better. I was getting 22mpg, but again, after running it for a few weeks I am getting 25+ again. I find it unfortunate that no one here knew the answer, but never mind. It's fixed now. Thanks anyway.